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Benedict Cumberbatch Clarifies Doctor Strange 2’s Horror Movie Debate

Benedict Cumberbatch calls Doctor Strange 2 the “most frightening Marvel film of all time” and it has “a lot of shock horror” and jump scare moments.

Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the horror elements present in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and what it was like working with Sam Raimi on them. Cumberbatch first made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016’s Doctor Strange, playing the titular surgeon turned Sorcerer Supreme. After playing a significant role in last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, the British actor is again returning to the role alongside Elizabeth Olsen who is set to return as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch.

Originally intended to be helmed by the first film’s director Scott Derrickson, however, he later departed from the project in 2020 citing creative differences. Within a month of his departure, the original Spider-Man director, Sam Raimi, was tapped to replace him, with Loki showrunner Michael Waldron tackling a fresh take on the script. As the creator of The Evil Dead franchise, Raimi’s horror sensibilities are also expected to take a front seat in the forthcoming MCU sequel which sees Cumberbatch’s hero venture into a multiverse of possibilities.

Related: The MCU Shows Why Doctor Strange Isn’t Iron Man’s True Replacement

With just days left before its release in theaters, Cumberbatch has spoken with Esquire about the film’s use of horror elements and has attempted to clarify exactly how scary the film is. Suggesting that he is “not a fan of horror”, he does forewarn audiences “there’s a lot of shock horror as this is a Sam Raimi film”. That being said, he does not think that the film sits in the “same league as The Shining, or of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.” Check out his full comments below:

I’m trying to dumb down expectations a little bit on that. I think almost definitely it is the most frightening Marvel film of all time, but I know that doesn’t necessarily put it in the same league as The Shining, or of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

You know, I’m not a fan of horror. I’m a fan of some of those films, but I’m not a fan in the sense I find it very difficult to watch them. I’m very suggestible and gullible and I buy into what I’m watching and it just haunts me for too long afterwards. It just scares me for longer than the moment in the film. I don’t really like living a life in horror or terrors, other than that in the real world without my imagination creating more. Horror is not my genre go-to. It’s not my genre go to.

I would say in compound sense of what little I know is it’s definitely darker in tone, and in terms of advice for taking kids of a certain age, it’s going to be prohibitive for certain people of a certain age because it is scary.

There are jump scares, there’s a lot of shock horror as this is a Sam Raimi film, in tone and execution. There are a lot of his trademark zoom cuts, close ups and and the schlockiness of it as well. It does feel like watching a Sam Raimi film of old at times. There’s a nostalgia kick to that, which I think feels playful at times, as well as dark and quite scary. I wouldn’t say it’s an out-and-out spine-chilling horror film, but there are definitely moments that make you jump, definitely moments that do fit into the horror genre.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange Disney Spoiler Prevention

Word that many of Raimi’s “trademark zoom cuts, close ups” and general “schlockiness” have made their way into the final product will be good news for fans of the director. Though this probably does not come as much surprise, especially given that Kevin Feige said Evil Dead II fans will like Doctor Strange 2. Raimi certainly has a very distinctive visual style and a penchant for putting scares into his films, and by all accounts Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be no exception to that rule.

This decision to lean into the various conventions horror genre, without making the film “an out-and-out spine-chilling horror,” is really nothing new for Marvel Studios who often attempt to make each of their films sit within distinct genres rather than just making generic “comic book movies.” Over the years the MCU has switched from comedy to spy-thrillers, to heist films and even John Hughes inspired teen dramas. While this latest outing will be the first time audiences are treated to an MCU installment inspired by horror sensibilities, it probably will not be the last. With properties like Blade and Werewolf by Night currently in the pipeline, the MCU will likely get plenty more scary moments to come.

Next: All 12 MCU Movies Releasing After Moon Knight (& When)

Source: Esquire

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023

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